Monday, December 12, 2005

Narnia Watch

Narnia had a huge opening weekend, pulling in $67.1 million (that number will probably fall a little once the final numbers are crunched, but probably won't dip below $65 million). Disney should be thrilled and overjoyed with this release. Good for them!

Not, however, good news for those who have been insisting that Narnia will beat Kong next weekend. Remember, that using the most conservative estimates--which means guess that Kong will open very weakly and that Narnia will hold incredibly well--we calculated that Narnia would have to open somewhere between $70 million and $87 million in order to be within striking distance of Kong next weekend. It's now all but inconceivable that Narnia will be Kong next weekend and, if Kong is as good as the early reviews, then it's also difficult to believe that Narnia (which will be helped by being a children's film, but only has so-so word of mouth) will out-gross it in the long run. I suspect that, when all is said and done, Narnia will finish with somewhere around $280 million in North American box office.

Bonus: Narnia did a bit better than I thought it would--I suspected it would be around $59 million--largely because I was figuring it to be on 3,200 screens. Instead it debuted on 3,616 screens. Where will it go from here?

If Narnia performs similarly to Goblet of Fire, and I think they're pretty analogous properties--it'll have a profile similar to this. That means that it will retain its high screen count this weekend and, more crucially, for the two following weekends, both of which are holidays. That means it could dip to about $37 million next weekend, but could uptick over the Christmas holiday and show excellent legs over New Year's.

Update: Inexplicably, Hugh Hewitt seems to be gloating. Maybe he thinks that the "tens of millions" of people who were going to see The Great Raid on its opening weekend are going to materialize next weekend for Narnia. And maybe--Army of the Dead-style--they will!

That would make Hugh Aragorn, son of Arathorne, and heir to the throne of Isildur, right?


Anonymous said...

I was also pleasantly surprised by the numbers.

We didn't go this weekend, my 2nd grader had a birthday party/sleep-over at our house. Of the 7 little girls who attended, only 1 went to Narnia. These are all kids from Catholic Schools with older brothers and sisters. All plan to attend, including my whole family. My 5th grader, who just finished reading it for English class, is going to go with her class. I think this will have the legs to make a lot more money.

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled with the numbers. Having contributed already to the opening take - and planning to go at least once more - I am left wondering, Of the readers who went, have you any thoughts?

I left the theater saying to the Mrs., "Why doesn't Hollywood make more movies like this? because I would go to the movies if they did." I have been to the theater twice this year for Goblet of Fire and Narnia. I wish Goblet had been a more like Narnia.

Anonymous said...

In Hugh's defense, I live in Ohio and I travelled in an approximate 100 mile radius (start point was Akron) and couldn't find "The Great Raid" showing anywhere. Maybe Ohio was singled out as undeserving or call me paranoid as I suspect the film was meant to fail her in the fly-over areas. Too patriotic, warmongering, no atrocities (excpet by the Japanese) etc., etc. I', still waiting on the DVD. I think if the movie had gotten more play it would have been a hit.

Anonymous said...

Hey JVL, looks like King Kong only (a heck of a relative term) snatched $9.7 million on its opening day. You had mentioned something about "understanding the movie industry". Thoughts?

Now, I think King Kong will make a crap lot of money, possibly more than Narnia but the movie industry is a odd one.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan may hold out hope but it appears Hugh Hewitt's prognostication is correct. It is very hard for a movie this big to pick up steam.